12 ISSUES FOR £24 Subscribe to Cheshire Life today click here

Would you hire a private chef for a dinner party?

PUBLISHED: 00:00 23 September 2016

Roasted fillet of beef, carrot swede puree, tender stem broccoli, fondant potato and red wine jus

Roasted fillet of beef, carrot swede puree, tender stem broccoli, fondant potato and red wine jus

Archant

David Hayden has cooked for the rich and famous.Now, he creates exquisite food for sophisticated dinner parties as Mairead Mahon discovered.

David HaydenDavid Hayden

The idea of engaging a private chef to prepare a dinner party in our own home may seem a privilege reserved only for the wealthy and well known. However, as the ground swell in popularity for the dinner party continues to rise, award-winning private gourmet chef, David Hayden, knows this is no longer the case. It seems many of us want to enjoy the luxury of a top chef in our own home.

David, who is based in Worsley, has trained in top restaurants in London and the Channel Islands, winning awards for his dishes along the way. He was introduced to the world of private dining when he was asked to be a private chef for a multi-millionaire who had a house in the renowned Sandy Lane resort in Barbados.

‘Yes, I began in style,’ laughs David. ‘And although it was very exacting-everything had to be perfect - it really stood me in good stead. My client enjoyed eating locally sourced food and, as we were surrounded by beautiful waters, fish played a large part in that. I did everything from shanked crab to yellow fin tuna and pan fried turbot.

‘Back home, I still try to source food locally as much as possible: we’re lucky in the North West to have a fantastic array of local producers. I think that very first client would be pleased to see that his exacting standards live on.’

Sesame king prawn tails, Asian style slaw and pink grapefruitSesame king prawn tails, Asian style slaw and pink grapefruit

Armed with the knowledge of how to produce the perfect dinner party, David returned home and found that his services were soon in demand. Before long, he was travelling the length and breadth of the UK, to orchestrate the perfect evening for clients.

Those dinner party hosts have included business people like Simon Arora, CEO of B&M and Barbara and Brendan Ainscough of the Lancashire firm, Ainscough Cranes. Naturally, celebrities also feature with people like Anthony Cotton; Patricia Penrose; Denise Walsh; Danny Miller and Sky newscaster, Sam Washington on his books. Premiership footballers also feature heavily too. Joe Hart, Michail Antonio and Owen Hargreaves have all enlisted David’s help, heartened by the fact he is a chef who takes their nutritional requirements into account. Owen Hargreaves said he couldn’t, as an athlete, have asked for ‘a more perfect dining experience’.

It was a new experience for David though when he had to appear on set himself.

‘I like to stay behind the scenes but on this occasion, I had to come forward,’ he recalls. ‘It was for The Real Housewives of Cheshire and I had to prepare canapés and a dinner party. I just tried to concentrate on the food and luckily, it all worked out ok.

Preparing the fruitsPreparing the fruits

‘It must have done as one of the stars, Seema Malhotra, asked me to prepare a dinner party for her family.’

Despite the calibre of his client list, David said wealth isn’t a prerequisite to holding an impressive dinner party. It is more about getting things right and paying attention to detail.

‘No, money is not something you need,’ he said. ‘And, before you ask, you don’t need a swish kitchen either. I have cooked in kitchens in castles but I have also managed in a kitchen with two gas rings. Most fall somewhere in between.

‘People sometimes want a dinner for twenty, an intimate dinner for two or even a barbecue. Sometimes, I’m a prize in a charity auction, believe it or not, and I’ve met many regular clients that way.’

Chocolate fondant, vanilla cream and fruitsChocolate fondant, vanilla cream and fruits

‘But it’s the food first and foremost that takes priority. I discuss a client’s needs and the needs of their guests. They can have as much or as little input as they want. Some people prefer to leave it all to me, others want a favourite recipe to be incorporated.’

David is well aware of the impact a good visual presentation can make: after all they do say that we eat with our eyes. In fact, that training began early for him, when mum Shelia put 10-year-old David in charge of decorating cheesecakes for the family supper.

‘The nicer it looked the quicker it got eaten,’ he said. ‘It is an early lesson I’ve never forgotten. Now, I always spend time thinking about how to present a dish, so that the taste buds start tingling before a fork is picked up.

‘I think about the plates it will be served on and if it show the dish to its best advantage. I have masses of plates and cutlery. At the moment, white china and modern styled cutlery is fashionable.

David also brings flowers and crisp linen - no paper serviettes here. He is often accompanied by a sommelier who can help him to serve as, for David, dining is an occasion that should be done in style. He’s practical too though and does the washing up before he leaves. Perfect!

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cheshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cheshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cheshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink

Thu, 00:00

So does Grand Pacific in Manchester make you really feel you’re dining at an old colonial hang-out? Janet Reeder went along to find out.

Read more
Manchester Restaurants Asian Food
Friday, June 16, 2017

The Stanneylands has just reopened its doors following a major re-vamp. Guests at our special lunch couldn’t wait to see the transformation, as well as taste some delights from the new menu, writes Janet Reeder

Read more
Cheshire Life Luncheon Wilmslow Stanneylands
Friday, June 16, 2017

Mark Ellis, a star of BBC’s Great British Menu and head chef at Peckforton Castle for nine years, is now going it alone with a new restaurant in Tattenhall, writes Paul Taylor.

Read more
Cheshire Restaurants
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Foodie event returns to Cheshire on 14th – 16th July

Read more
Monday, June 12, 2017

Knutsford has a always been a place for ladies who lunch, but afternoon teas are increasing in popularity.

Read more
Afternoon Tea Knutsford
Sunday, June 11, 2017

Chef Kevin Lynn is serving up the finest in modern British cuisine at Machine House in the little town of Rossett, says Louise Allen-Taylor.

Read more
Thursday, June 8, 2017

Jon Appleby’s Wirral business is thriving by attracting local people to enjoy both his produce and his land. Martin Pilkington reports.

Read more
Wirral
Monday, June 5, 2017

Jefferson Green has just opened his first restaurant in Knutsford and he’s already creating a buzz, as Janet Reeder discovers.

Read more
Knutsford Cheshire Restaurants
Friday, June 2, 2017

There are no nasties in these delicious sugar-free flapjacks made in Bunbury, as Emma Mayoh discovered.

Read more
Tarporley
Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wilmslow Business Group hosted a Food and Drink Week, a lively programme of food-related events designed to encourage residents and visitors to discover the town’s dining scene.

Read more
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

What goes on behind the scenes at this successful Cheshire company?

Read more
Friday, May 26, 2017

Putting the spotlight on retailers whose business is an important part of community life.

Read more
Afternoon Tea Frodsham

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Cheshire Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Cheshire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search